MYFOXNY.COM – Facebook is now sharing your personal profile information with third parties. For now, it’s just a few web sites, like the music site Pandora, and the consumer review site, Yelp.

Facebook is automatically sharing that information, without your consent. If you don’t want to share, you have to opt out.



University of Minnesota law professor and privacy expert Bill McGevern says it’s an important line in the sand. And for Facebook, with 600 million users, the stakes are high.

“Facebook is trying over and over to get this shared so Facebook becomes the center of the web,” said McGevern.

Facebook want to make money by selling user information.

Last week, Facebook announced new features designed to unlock more of the data accumulated about its users during its six-year history. The senators said the recent changes by Facebook fundamentally alter the relationship between users and the social networking site. Before the change, users had control over what information they wished to share publicly and what information they wanted to keep private.

Among other things, Facebook is plugging into other websites so people can communicate their interests with friends, colleagues and acquaintances online. Facebook also changed its own website to create more pages where users’ biographical information could be exposed to a wider audience.

In a statement, Facebook said, “these new products and features are designed to enhance personalization and promote social activity. All of Facebook’s partner sites interact with a user’s consent.”

To opt out of Facebook’s new profile sharing is a multiple step process:

STEP 1: Go to the “Privacy Settings.” Go to “Applications and Web Sites.” Then go to “Instant Personalization Pilot Program,” and hit edit settings.

STEP 2: For all users there’s an automatic check in the box below, which allows Facebook to share your information with other web sites. You are automatically “opted in.” If you do not wish to share this information, uncheck the box.

STEP 3: Even after you’ve done this, it is not clear whether you need to “opt out” at the sites where Facebook is intending to share your information, like Pandora and Yelp, and soon many more sites. So you will want to look at the upper left hand corner of those sites to see whether those sites are recognizing your Facebook account and activity. Here again, you need to opt out.

But a word of caution, as Facebook concedes, your information may still be shared through your friends accounts, unless you block the application from these web sites.

Facebook, apparently responding to Congressional pressure, has already made some changes to this “Instant Personalization Pilot Program,” so you may want to periodically check back in to adjust your settings.


Obviously many of us have facebook for industry reasons and or personal communication.. but we are smarter than this. If you NEED to have FB for personal communication then you should also know that people who have FB have email addresses, if you really have pertinent info that you want to “update” your people on .. email them (if theres no other source of contact like the phone or usps). That is all…


Jackie da Model

  1. Erica F. says:

    What surprises me is that people didn’t know this from their experience with MySpace (as several people have had a MySpace account). The only difference with FB is that you can actually opt out of this search feature where as on MySpace you could not. I think the internet gives people a false sense of security. Be it on networking sites, through emails, ect ect. For example, were you aware that now not only can bill collectors get your information so that can cyber harass you for their money but the US Government is using it to track down criminals? If you have a warrant out you may want to not be on FB. lol! It gets worse. Have you read the stories about young girls who have posted that they were home alone as a status and have gotten raped and killed as a result? Or people who post they are out for the evening or for a vacation and have come home to find they have gotten broken into? The most recent story I read was about a gentlemen who posted an ad on Craigslist. He was selling a 1.5 karat ring with an asking price of $1050. A couple came to view the ring and it ended up being a break in. They tied him and his wife up and laid them face down on the floor and then got their two children, 10 and 14,and forced them to watch as they shot their father dead. The point being, whether it’s facebook, myspace, craigslist, email… whatever, do not give yourself that false sense of security. There are ways of finding out your info. IP addresses being on of them (people can trace your PC’s address to the source if they really wanted to find you). Be careful how you word things on these networking sites. And always assume that someone is out to get you. Paranoia might just keep you safe. Gives my grandparents view that “la computadora es el diablo” a whole new meaning. =]

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